tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN January 25, 2013 8:00pm-10:30pm EST
in the world and a reduced capacity for defending ourselves, defending our allies in protecting our power. that would be an analytical way to present why we are in decline. . i don't want to play the amateur psychiatrist or even a professional one can hide a lot 's so, it is obama pos to recreate the trees the europeans made in the 1940's after the second world war. the problem for us and for the west is, if we decline and devote our resources internally, who will protect the free world? who will keep open the sea lanes? and he will prevent either the rise of another hegemon, like china, for the chaos that will
ensue if there is no hegemon, no leader, no dominant power in the world? that is a very long answer to a short question. [laughter] on television, i would have been stopped after the first. so i will abuse the there is no clock here. [laughter] >> use it is a subconscious chores. are you hopeful or agnostic on the question, when it is presented to the public or when the public realizes consciously the consequences of going down this path that they will want to shift direction? >> i think you get a fairly close analogy to where we are now with the late 1970's, at which time i was on the the wrong side of the fence. i appreciate you leaving that
part out of my checkered past. [laughter] the country was weird. the surgeons -- eggs surgeons -- excursions, we would allow ourselves to drift and not spend our resources because of an " inordinate fear of communism," which was a phrase used in the carter administration. and then came reagan. perhaps you can argue that the events of 1979, which were a catastrophic year for the united states -- the soviet invasion of afghanistan, the communist takeover of nicaragua, and most importantly, it was the iranian hostage crisis. that became the symbol of what happens when you are in decline, what happens if you think you can withdraw from the world. the world willse
come after you. the answer possibly would be that it would take some even comparable to that. there will be a humiliation, setback for realizations through some action in the world that there is no safety in hiding. there is no safety in retreat. and there is no alternative to american leadership, the greatest experiment of the last two hundred years is to survive. then it dawned upon the country and it always rises again. the other element is the philosophy that we share, which is essentially one where the strength of the country comes from the private sector, from the free enterprise system, from the acts of individuals, and from the strength of civil society and not the government, which is what obama believes is the demint -- the definition of the collectivity. if all that is true, and i think it is, i think that four more
years are on the course of drift, on the course of expanding the government at the expense of the private-sector and will have results that will be unsustainable and there will be a shift away from it, which makes me rather optimistic about the future in the medium term, although i'm not that optimistic about the short-term. >> we will build more into the causes, the selection -- this may be a false choice, but to what extent you think the outcome had to do with romney s weaknesses as a candidate and how much had to do with the content he was trying to sell and the stillness of it, how much the circumstances the economy was unable to brand obama.
>> the clearest way to look at this is to look at 2010. 2010 was a set -- was a resounding rejection of what obama had done in the first two years. it was a resounding rejection of the intrusiveness expansion of the pyramid. it was a referendum on this kind of hyper liberalism and there was a referendum about the size and reach of government. and it was a pure ideological election. because there were no personalities involved. you weren't voting for president. you want boating up and down on a figure. you were voting on issues and the dominant issue was obama and as a scare, the stimulus committee increase in spending, the expansion of the government. or to put it in a more abstract and grand was the difference between federal
and state which was tilting more toward state. when the question is put that way, the country shows itself to be center-right country. had republicans been able to duplicate those conditions, that framework in 2012, they would have won. but it is not the same election. 2010 is almost purely ideological election. perhaps the most ideological since 1980. then you get to 2010, when you have a personality involved and you have a figure represents one side. romney is a good man. i like him. i think he is an honorable man, and i think he would have made an excellent president. but he was a bad candidate particularly in an election that could have been one had been an election about ideas and philosophy. i think it would have been easily won had been about ideas and philosophy. but he was not the math -- he was not the best man on our side
to make that case. secondly, he decided not to make the case either way and to run on the set of the economy and on the issues. he basically ran ideologically for one hour in the first debate. and that was his finest hour. had he ran -- had he run his campaign that way, he would have won. but he cannot sustain or he could not trust it and then he subsided in the second and third debate and became very passive and decided he would stick to this hoping that the stated the economy would be enough to have obama dismissed on the grounds of incompetence. in the end, the economy turned up a little bit. obama ran a great campaign. he created issues out of nothing, like the class war issue on taxes, which romney was not able to make the argument for. let's be honest about this. romney was a man who spoke
conservatism as a second language. remember, and one of the primary debates, he wanted to show how conservative he was and he said that he ran a severely conservative administration as governor of massachusetts. severe is a word that you associate with a tropical storm, not the government. [laughter] he had trouble making the case. we have a very strong bench, half of whom is here in your conference. young governors, rubio in congress, and a whole slew of young governors, degeneration -- a generation, you can say they are marinated in conservative philosophy, thinking very deeply about a new kind of conservatism. but they, for their own reasons, some personal and some simply to
new and were not quite ready did not run. and we had a weak field in the primaries. romney was obviously the best and the only possible presidential candidate. but he was weaker than the ones who were sitting on the bench and you will be out there in 2016. so that is the source of my optimism. but there is a case that could have been made and wasn't. and i think that is largely the reason. >> he is a very good man, but you have to think of the brush marks line. i have principles and, if you like them, -- think of the groucho marx line. i have principles and, if you don't like them, i have other principals. [laughter] there is a time in 2009, right
around the first inauguration that were very soft on president obama. what made you hopeful about his presidency initially? what was that? that must've been a very short time. [laughter] it was probably as short as my marxist period in college. that lasted a weekend. it was a hell of a weekend. [laughter] [applause] something of a haze hangs over when i think about it. perhaps i can retreated again in denver or washington state one day. [laughter] and not have to worry about the law.
obama was very interesting. in my defense, a week before or two weeks before the election in l.a., i routed column suffering from myself rather severely, to use a romney word, from some of my colleagues on the right to have defected to obama and i named them. i said i was going down with the mccain ship because i knew it was going out and i would not waver. i never imagined i would support obama over mccain. i was very strongly for mccain. i thought he was a very good man. he did not run a very strong campaign. we seem to have a habit of doing that. but here's what was interesting about obama. if you remember the transition, he made very centrist appointments. for example, he kept the gates
at the fence. he picked geithner for treasury, who had worked hand in glove with the bush administration through the financial crisis. he picked hillary as secretary of state. blogger was one of the major advisers. volcker was one of the major red visors. when he ran in 2008, he ran as a roar short chest. he was not a very disturbing the radical candidate. that was the brilliance of his 2008 campaign. even his inaugural address did not tell you anything about him. then he made a speech and for every 24 of which are referenced in my column this morning, in 2009, which is been address he made to the joint congress where
he unveiled a shockingly radical social democratic agenda. and he gave a series of speeches culminating in june of that year at georgetown university where he expanded on his philosophy. and it was clear to me that he had dropped the veil and i'd give him credit for honesty, courage and openness. he said i am not here to trim. i am i here to reform around the edges. i am here to transform the united states of america. and he was very specific. it was not some abstract notion he was presenting. he said i will do it in health care, education and energy. think about that. health care is one sixth of the economy. energy, you control the production and the pricing and
control everything from he tried to with capt. trade and he tried. education is the future. you control those three elements and you have what lenin would call the commanding height of a post industrial society. that is what he said he wanted to do. in fact, you don't remember this because, unlike me, you have real lives for it you don't have to watch everything the man says. i do for my sins and they clearly are mending. [laughter] but he sprinkled that speech and the subsequent speeches until the georgetown speech with a phrase -- the new foundation, which was never picked up on and never remembered. but it was in there. in fact, the name of the speech was called "the new foundation." he already saw himself one month into the presidency as a successor to the new deal and the new frontier. he wanted this appellation, the
new foundation, to be what obama is and would be. so it shows you how ideologically ambitious he was from day one. at that point, i knew who he was. and i'm not sure that anybody knew who he was until then. the incident you're recalling is a week before obama was sworn in. i was invited to dinner with a few conservative columnist to meet with the president-elect. and i remember when the word leaked out, liberal columnists were extremely upset and they quickly scheduled a breakfast the next morning. we got steak and they got cornflakes. that was the only victory our side won in that time. [laughter] and obama was extremely affable and extremely genial. and what impressed me and this
is the reason why i'm so disappointed with him today is that he showed a very keen capacity to understand and to respect a contrary argument. we ask him a ton of questions. and he would restate your side, without creating a strong man, giving the most open and generous interpretation of your argument, stating his and then speaking about trying to find a resolution. so he has that capacity, which is why i am so infuriated everytime he makes the speeches and he does this all the time when he attributes to his opponents that faith, what he calls party over national interest, a personal interest over anything else, the quest for power. i know he has the capacity to understand the aside. but he demagogue's by attending
the aside is not serious and is always seeking to use these arguments as a way to power. so that is my defense and i am sticking with it. >> d you find him likable as a politician? do you understand his appeal? >> i have only had three hours with him. >> but watching him on tv as he performs. >> no, i think he is consciously exercising sort of very demagogic tactics whereas he is not a man -- i think i would say that and i am not sure he believes it because i saw him in action acting in a professorial -- so i know he is capable of that. or he fooled me for three hours and the real obama is out there. so i leave you to decide. i made a decision when i less a
country that that was it. i wouldn't practice it again, especially not in public. i am sure it is useful to delve into the motivations. you judge a politician and his actions and i think that his actions have been rather demagogic. and he has been extremely successful at it. as an aside about psychiatry, it is true that i was a psychiatrist and technically i am still license. but the truth is that i am a psychiatrist intermission. [laughter] i have done rather well. i have not had a relapse and 25 years. [laughter] and people ask me what it is like or how different it is to be political analyst in washington. that is versus what used to be, which was a psychiatrist in boston and i tell them, if you can imagine, it is really not that different. [laughter] don't get ahead of me.
in both lines, i do with people who suffer from paranoia and illusions of grandeur appeare. the only difference is that the paranoia and nbc have access to nuclear weapons. -- that the paranoid in washington, d.c. have access to nuclear weapons. >> even send circumstances will have to do with the political battle in the next two years to four years. but from this particular juncture, if there are one or two things, three things, that you would recommend to the republican party and how to react to obama and how to renew their appeal and make their case for the public, what would those couple things be? >> number one, suicide is not a good option. suicide will charge the light
brigade into the fiscal cliff or other places. if i can mix eight metaphors. it is simply stupid. the record here is fairly clear. sometimes, you don't hold the cards. we hold one half of one-third of the government. and the idea that you can suffer from one house of the government is simply an illusion. you can make strategic the small advances. but i would say, given the ambitions of the obama presidency, as you heard in the second inaugural, blocking is a virtue onto itself and it would be an achievement unto itself. but if you think you can use the fiscal cliff, which would of been a tax hike on all americans, the largest in u.s. history, or if you can use the debt ceiling, which you can, in the end, pull the trigger on --
which you cannot, in the end, fully drawn. it would be catastrophic. it means to have to cut spending by 40% overnight, which you cannot do. unless you can execute the glove, don't good because obama will call it as he called it on generate first of this year, has he would with the debt ceiling. don't execute if you cannot carry out the block. i hope you weren't applauding carry out the blood appeared in which case, my entire argument is undermined and has gone nowhere. >> i think there is a small contingent. >> and they are on suicide watch. i hope their shoelaces have been removed. [laughter] so you do what i think the house members in their retreat in williamsburg very cleverly did. you pick your fights and you don't try to govern from one house. you get very small advances. i recommended last week, that in
return for a temporary debt ceiling for three months, the the return to the senate and produce a budget. they adopted the idea and they have already succeeded. the senate will now produce a budget, which will allow the fight to be a fair fight between democrats and republicans on spending because the other side will finally have to show its cards. this is a fairly elementary step. that is how i think they ought to proceed. second, they have to understand that obama will try to use administrative actions because the house will block actions by legislation, which is why i am extremely encouraged by the ruling you may remain i've heard by the first circuit today, throwing out the nlrb
appointment. [applause] i have been quite shocked by the of lawlessness of the administration by legislating around congress in a way that i think is clearly unconstitutional. for example, passing the dream act. however you stand on the dream at, i should be done by congress and not by the administration. and it did that. because if a conservative had decided to restrict the irs that it would no longer collect capital gains tax, which is a way to enact the capital gains tax elimination without congress, we would all be astonished by that and clearly say that you cannot do it. but that is what the dream that was. similarly, with the attempt by the hhs to pass regulations, which undermines the will -- the climate in welfare, which was
one of the great successes of the policy in the 1990's. i don't know if there will be challenged in the courts, but what happened today will give the administration some pause in trying to legislate and to go around the constitution. particularly in light of what obama said on monday about climate change, i.t. controlling the energy economy, bing -- i.e. controlling the energy economy, the way he wants to control things, he knows he can get any of that through congress. he tried the capt. trade. the democratic senator from west virginia -- cap and trade. the democratic senator from west virginia put a bullet little it's true that bill, which has interesting implications for gun control. [laughter] i am not sure if it was an assault weapon or a handgun.
it was a bullet and it went right through a copy. so he will get very great resistance in congress on that. and it will try to do all of this 3 p. so be very careful about highlighting this and having hearings on constitutional evasion's of the congress would be a second element in the strategy. >> where are you on the question of democrats and whether republicans are just facing inevitable demographics, the changing nature of the electorate, especially the increasing importance of latinos and how would you suggest addressing that? >> every time a party loses a presidential election come 18 intellectuals write the book saying that the party is finished and will never come back. and they are always wrong. i do believe any of that. believe in the demographic series of republican decline.
as long as the republicans remain the conservative party in the country, they will come in time, under right conditions, succeed. the reason is that we are center-right country. we are and we will remain a center-right country. the question i think is is one element in that, which is problematic -- republicans have lost the hispanic vote in a way that i think is gratuitous. i think it is necessary. this is one community where, if we were running an ideologically, we would been. but there has been some sort of, if you like, ethnic alienation as a result the some of the things that have been said and some of the policies. the view i have long had on this -- and it is not a view their woke up with after election day in november -- i wrote back and i saw that i read
this column in the bush years in 2004 when republicans controlled the presidency and the two houses of congress. the way to approach illegal immigration was quite simple. if you can convince the vast majority of americans that we had in fact close the borders, that we were serious about enforcement and it could start with something as simple as a fence and don't tell me that a fence cannot work. the israelis have constructed a fence and defense was meant to keep out terrorists who are far more intense in getting across than a mexican landscaper and it has succeeded to almost 100% in keeping them out. fences work. i don't see why we don't do exactly what the israelis did. and if you can actually reduce -- you will never go to zero -- but if you can reduce the river of illegal immigration to a trickle, then i think the
american people will say, well, if these 11 million are the last cohorts, we will not support them. we will not stigmatize them. if this is the end of this illegal immigration because we have announced serious enforcement, we can overtime legalize them. i would not give them citizenship or a stake in a political future, but would take them out of the shadows and allow them to stay. i think there would be an overwhelming consensus in the country if they were convinced that it was the last cohort. and why do i know that? because that is what ronald reagan thought when he passed the simpson mazzoli act in 1986 or 1987, where he -- also under the belief that the border would close and it would be the last cohort. the problem is that he was swindall law-enforcement. i think it -- he was swindled in
lathe enforcement of as long as it does not become a magnet for in other cohort of illegal immigrants, i think we could make that case and we could then stop the hemorrhaging of this particular constituency. as to the other constituencies the people say we have inevitably lost, it is generally single women, young people, urban dwellers, and these are more naturally liberal constituencies. they have been and they will be. but there are normally can stitch -- but there are normally conservative constituencies who outnumber them. we lost married women and we lost single women. that is understandable in the cost of ideologies that the parties are presenting. it is the hispanic issue that is an anomaly.
these are immigrants who should be attracted to a philosophy of self improvement, is striving community of openness and free enterprise. so i think we have lost that for reasons of stumbling over the issue of immigration, which is unnecessary. but if you take that out of the equation, there's no reason why any demographic destiny in favor of a liberal political party. >> i would characterize the you are a modified optimist on this. we are now half of all mothers and a 30 are out of wedlock. this is an and schooling social catastrophe. how do you find that trend? is there any hope of reversing it? >> the one thing that i think
has been quite remarkable is that so many social embassies that we have expected but inevitably get worse have reversed themselves. the decline in crime is shocking, nothing that you and i would have predicted. when i was looking this up, the number of homicides in the country are roughly half what they were in 1980. people in new york knew what it was like to be in new york in the 1970's and how different it is today. so these things that we inevitably a tribute to culture to not to be not quite right. it turns out that, with the right kinds of policing, the broken window phenomenon, that you can actually make a difference. i am somewhat alarmed by the rise of the legitimacy. but i go back to my old mentor.
he was one of the most remarkable thinkers i have ever met. he was one of the only conservatives i knew at the time, particularly when things -- when the social issues were the rage and things are going downhill, who had a sort of unshakable the equanimity. he always said the society would work its way out of these problems. and he had a very wry wit. if the marriage was an issue, he would say, well, let them try it. the implication was, they want to suffer, that's fine. [laughter] i am interpreting, but he was not alarmed by these social changes. we once spoke about the fact that, in france, marriage sort of was nonexistent and people lived together. had he was not in any way -- he was not an alarmist over it. he thought we come in the modern society, with women having been
liberated from a lot of things that have held them back in the future work sort of finding your way, groping away to new social arrangements, which would in time sort themselves out and stabilize. so i know the instinct of the conservative is to think that the moral sense and structures are changing. and it has to be for the worst. it is always an adaptation and we have to see how it is on the other ran -- on the other end. i do think that the normal conservative position of perpetual despair is not one that we really need to exceed. we can occasion have a happy day, maybe once a week. [laughter] may be a sunday. >> let me ask you a little bit
about your intellectual journey. what were the factors that turn you to the right? >> and my youngest days, after that marxist weekend, my younger days in college, i was a social democrat, which at the time made me a complete right winger. the norm was marxist and the extreme was maoist. i was sort of a great society liberal. i thought of myself as a cold war level. my childhood hero was henry
jackson, scoop jackson. he ran for the presidency in 1976. i handed leaflets on his behalf at a massachusetts democratic primary, which he did win because of the massive handing out leaflets that i was involved in. [laughter] but he had a problem. he was rather dull. [laughter] he was a great man, i really love him, but he was exceedingly dull in public. if he ever gave a fireside chat, the fire would go out. [laughter] so i was a skid jackson democrat. i had no illusions about the soviets. -- so i was a scoop jackson democrat. i had no illusions about the soviets. he was a disciple of hubert humphrey. so i was a natural democrat.
two things happen. when the democrats lost power in 1980, i became completely responsible on foreign policy, completely. when they were in power, they had to deal with the soviets. carter was weak, but when the soviets invaded afghanistan, he had the boycott, the olympic boycott. and he toughened up. one of the things he proposed was that the germans had wanted the americans to develop a neutron bomb. but instead, carter didn't want to do that. so he proposed to put in germany and in britain short range -- medium-range nuclear weapons as an answer to the soviets who had put medium weapons in eastern europe. that was a carter administration policy. reagan comes in in 1981 and
democrats completely collapse. >> i was a speechwriter in 1980. i had nothing to do with him in 1984. but he and gary hart ran together to see who was the first to have been forced the nuclear freeze, which was the stupidest idea in the history of the nuclear age. i joined the new republican in 1981 on inauguration by the way. i wrote an editorial denouncing the freeze as an illusion and deception, which incidentally caused the most canceled subscriptions in the history of "the new republic," for which i still take great pride. [laughter] it was announced in an editorial meeting that we had the most canceled subscriptions and it was also noted that editorial had received the largest number of abusive and angry letters. at which point, i proposed to the editors a new policy at the
magazine that, once a week, we would choose the dumbest of all letters to the editor and we would cancel that person's subscription. [laughter] and write them if there were unworthy and there would be no refund. [laughter] sue us if you want. that idea was not accepted. the business side objected. to make a very long story short, the democrats' collapse and panicked and they became extremely weak and they made every wrong decision in the 1980's. on the contras, on the freeze, just about every issue, on the short term nuclear missiles, on star wars, etc. so that was the party moving away from me from where it was an from where it was historic
the curve remember, there was the cold war liberal caucus in the party. it had scoop jackson and hubert humphrey and moynihan who was also a democrat. it was called the committee for the democratic [indiscernible] that element of the party to which i associated disappeared. it does not exist anymore. on domestic issues, it was simple. i was a great society liberal. then i read charles murray, "losing ground," and for someone who is wanted doctor, i am open to empirical evidence. it was a dallas -- it was a disaster. i began to change on domestic policy and i realize that, however good the intentions of american liberalism and it was destroying a whole sector of society and destroying the lives, the culture, the resolve, the character of the people it
wanted to help. so that is how it happened. they moved on domestic affairs and i moved and i am where i am now. of course, that is a long way to say that i was young once. [laughter] >> q u concern note -- you consider yourself a new conservative? is that a term that is used anymore? >> know. it is now an epithet. it was -- there was wanted someone had a meeting. -- a meaning. today it's usually meant as a nym for jewish conservatism. whenever you hear the word, i challenge the person to describe and explain to you what a new
icon is and i guarantee you they will have no answer. it used to mean somebody who was once a level and became more conservative. the day who was once a liberal and became more conservative -- it used to mean somebody who was once a liberal and became more conservative. 30 years later, it has no meaning at all, except for a pejorative one. >> but me ask you a series of really quick questions. who is your favorite liberal columnist? [laughter] >> if i were to say david [indiscernible] [laughter] i would be misunderstood. that sentence has to be repeated. david is one of the most interesting columnists. is not a liberal columnist, but i think he is a man who has
quite a vision of the two sides and rights very interestingly from somewhere in the middle. so i find him one of the most interesting. i guess that is the best answer i can be without naming other names. >> do you read paul krugman? >> on advice of my counsel -- [laughter] >> d you have any favorite bloggers and you think that the new more open the environment is a good thing? >> you will think this is shameless sucking up, but the best blog out there is national review online. [applause] i look at it every day. the other one i recommend to you
is mickey kaus. he writes a blog that is in the daily collar and he is a brilliant new liberal. he ran against boxer in a primary. he had a budget of about $600. he ran for the senate. but he is an interesting writer. he is a liberal who is extremely open and able to see through arguments in a way that is rare. so if you're going to read a little, you should read him. yes, i think the openness is very good. it is that we basically have democratized the political discourse. the problem is that it will kill the mainstream -- the traditional way of doing business in media. i am not talking about liberal or conservative. there is nobody that has been able to come up with a business
model that will preserve the newspapers in the long run. so i'm not sure where leads. but right now, ladies leading to replace where would we have known for 100 years, whether leading newspapers, magazines, they are on their way to obsolescence. i am not sure that anybody knows what will replace them. >> who is the most formidable opponent to have ever had on the chessboard? >> >> i did play gary kasparov once at a reception for him at my house when he was a rising chess player. i opened with a king-pawn opening preheat responded with a pond asking for and then he offered me a drop. i was in a mood and challenged
him to finish the game. but i is set did -- but i accepted the drop. he is by far the best player i have ever played. but i warn you, as i told him, when you cross before the fifth or sixth time in a row, that it was an extremely unfair match because he had nine years on me to work on his game while i was out here sweating and earning a living. [laughter] so it was just not fair. >> how emotional devastated were you by the national perfect collapse -- the national's horrific collapse last year? >> it made the romney defeat look small. my recovery at the time was about a week and a half.
i believe that -- i believe that, in the model of the brooklyn dodgers, we will get them this year. >> let's hope and up to questions from the audience. we just ask that you keep your questions to 45 seconds and make sure that they are a direct question. >> to questions, as another former physician also in remission, thank you for example. does the acceptance of health care reform lead to a decrease in personal liberty? if so, does that lead to an acceptance of it in other spheres in life? >> that is a difficult question. >> i try. >> what was the word you used? just repeat the first half. the first question. >> does the acceptance lead to a diminishing of personal
liberties? obamacare. >> yes, i think that is inevitable. i think the single most intrusive form of government intervention is nationalizing health care. and i think it has a private- permanent effect on the relationship between citizens and state because it is the most intimate and important of all relationships. once you're in the system and you have expected it, i don't think there is one example in the world of it being undone. i think it will be -- if obama's presidency were to end today, that would be his legacy and it would be a significant one, a historic one trip unless it would somehow -- i don't think it would be repealed, but it does so unworkable that it would even say be a bad thing. so that is my main hope about it. but, yes, i think it is and it
does change the character of the country. >> are there any candidates who, had they run, would have run -- would have won, either mitch daniels or anyone else? >> i think daniels is a good example. you have to read imagine the whole year. but if we had had paul ryan at the top of the ticket -- if we had had -- i heard bobby jindal the other day. you don't know how they would have done on the campaign trail. you have to assume they would have run a strong campaign. but we would have had a very good chance. obama was very lucky in that the economy strengthened at the end, and he was very lucky with himdy, which probably help the in the very end. but if we had a strong candidate, we would've had a very strong election one with
year -- one way or the other. the data mining they were able to do is quite remarkable. but if you run a conservative is a social democrat in this country and you have an even playing field, the social democrats will lose. >> i am the vice chairman of the college republicans at the catholic university of america. going off that last question, who do you think the republicans will pick for the nomination in 2016? and do you think we will win? this is being recorded, charles. so this prediction will come back to you in the future. >> well, some people have approached me. [laughter] [applause] so let me be very straight with you right now. if nominated, i will not run. [laughter] but if elected, i will serve. i'm just lazy.
i've learned from bitter experience not to make predictions, especially ones that are four years off. we have no idea what the world will look like. but i think you know who the range of candidates are. it is not a mystery. i think we will have a very strong ticket in 2016 and i also think that, because i do believe that the path that obama is headed on, that the country is headed on with the tremendous explosion of debt with no desire to do anything about it, the intrusive government and you can endlessly use and attack and exploit the golden goose of the private sector and ordered to feed a nonproductive public- sector, in the and fails. and i think the country will look very different in 2016 than it does now. and it will be easier to make
the ideological argument as a result. if i could just take one second to tell you my favorite anecdote to explain to people when you call obama a social democrat, what exactly do you mean? that is the story about winston churchill after he lost the election in world war ii and clement attlee of the labor party socialist was elected prime minister. a few years later, churchill those out of the men's room in the house of commons and there is at least standing as one of the urinals. as't worry, that is as risky it gets. there's nobody else in the men's room and churchill goes all the way to the other end of the men's room to 15 stalls over. atlee says, feeling a bit standoffish are we? and churchill says, it is just that every time you see
something large, you want to nationalize it. [laughter] it is probably apocryphal and not true. but as we say in the opinion business, the story is too good to check. so i will leave it with you. >> thank you, charles. first, thank you for all you do. second, a lot of the problems in this country star with the k-12 education system geared a think a lot of solutions are there, too. i just want your opinion they are. >> i think one of the crimes of american liberalism is confining a generation of inner-city kids to wear life of desperation. [applause] largely because of the political influence of the teachers' union.
and that is becoming more generally recognized. we are sacrificing generation after generation. the limousine liberals, to use an expression from the 1960's, have their kids in the best schools in the world and they pretend to be the champions of the in class while they are ruining their chances in life by a disgraceful public education system. and it is like all other monopolies falling because it doesn't have real competition. and they are afraid of that. because if they were allowed a voucher system where they would really have to compete with a parent who could choose where to go, they would be crushed. until that changes, we will have this continuing problem. and it is the reason for my optimism. this is not an endemic generic problem. yes, in part because of the parental influence, social
influence, the poverty, the disorganized families, the single parent could -- the zero contributors. but this is clearly something that we could change, we can change, and, one day, we will change. and i think that will have a dramatic effect in lifting people out of the despair party that they are lit -- despair of poverty that they are living in. and when you leave that and rectified, then you need a kind of a compensatory system, like affirmative action, which then would pretend that these differences between the children of the elite and the children of the inner-city don't exist and you have to create artificial distinctions on race and other things, which indian court the minorities even more because it
places them in conditions where they cannot succeed, where they would otherwise 60 in other places -- where they would otherwise succeed in other places where their skills would suit them. you go to berkeley law school instead of two different law school in the uc system and you fail. whereas you could very will succeed anywhere else. so i think it has a multiplicative effect, which takes away the life chances of a large sector of americans. that is the core issue here, where society can really do something. it is hard to imagine how you change the culture, how you change the patterns of the family structure. but it does not hard at all how you imagine education and opportunities and denying them i think is a crime. [applause] >> god bless you.
i am wondering how you reconcile the demagoguery of the obama administration as the system by the media resulting in upper-50's approval ratings with your idea that we can settle conservative ideas in the majority. >> everyone wants the country to succeed. everyone wants the president, who is the leader of the country, to succeed. there's nothing unusual about having a higher approval. you have been reelected and this is a new page in the country. the country sees itself as entering a new chapter and wants to succeed. i don't begrudge the president that approval rate. he did win the election. he did win over half of the electorate. and he supports -- he deserves the support he has. i think in time, the policies he is proposing, will be
demonstrably-. both -- demonstrably negative. both at home and abroad. the consequences will be very different in the future. i am not hoping for that. but if you believe -- if you're a conservative many believe the policies he is pursuing the wrong ones, it will reflect that. but i think that, by instinct, by inclination, by philosophy, by tradition, by history, america is a center-right country and it will obviously -- we have a rotation of power. we have these alternations. often concentrations of pair fail and are thrown out of office and the other side gets a chance. but overall, a few make the case, you will -- if you make the case, you will win these kinds of elections.
i do think there's a sense of hope in the country, which i don't begrudge. and if obama were to follow policies that were to succeed, i think you'd have to change his course. i am not sure he wants to. i don't see gave any inclination he will. i think he would deserve the support of all. >> we probably have time for one more question. >> i feel confident like you do that the republicans will win the next presidential election. we should have won at this time, but next time we will for sure. in the meantime, do you think it is a likely scenario that obama has in his mind the fond hope that he can get someone elected on the democrats' side like biting or someone like sam -- like biden or someone like him that he can exert his influence on and continue his socialism?
>> i would caution you on using the word socialism. it is too broad a term. it encompasses all kinds of socialism, including the nasty totalitarian examples. i would caution you to use social democrat because that is what he is. he is in a tradition -- i am a little wary of using that. i think you either to identify him as somebody whose ideas are more european, which he seemsees more of a just society with more equality.
he denies our side in looking our ideology and the set of ideas that we believe. but lily he tried to obama, i think he thinks he sees himself as a reagan-like president. he said ronald reagan was historical in a way that clinton was not. he said reagan had changed the ideological trajectory of the country, which had been on a liberal trajectory. he changed overnight, which led to a 30-year conservative trajectory.
halfway between reagan and obama, you had a president of the democratic party who declared the era of big government was over. and then abolishing welfare. he sees himself as the man who will reverse the course. he started with obamacare and he has continued it with the stimulus. historically high for peace time since world war ii. he sees is next step is to raise the levels of taxation. if you want european levels of entitlement, and you'll have to have european levels of taxation. he sees himself as establishing the foundations of the more social democratic society. i thinks he thinks he can do
enough in the two terms to establish that. i think our task as conservatives is to understand exactly what he wants to do, how he wants to do it, it to give it a modicum of understanding, and to say that we think the united states is different fundamentally from europe. we put much more emphasis of the individual on liberty versus a quality. there is a reason there is a statue of liberty, not a statue of the quality. bemis strengthen civil society, we will emerge with a more -- when we strengthen and civil society, we will emerge. that is the case we ought to make. we should take this task on
seriously and to make the ideological, the intellectual argument. if we do it well and appeal to the more american individualistic tradition, we will succeed. that is the reason for my optimism. it is sort of independent of who the individuals are at present the case on the other side. we simply have to make the case. if we do come up we will win. thank you very much. -- if we do, we will win. thank you very much. [applause] [cheers and applause]
>> the notion of a charles krauthammer presidential run reminds me of an old walter mondale story. at least even sent dave an intelligent speech -- gave an intelligent speech. you will have the votes of every thinking american. and stephenson said, but i will need a majority. chiles has the support and gratitude of every thinking american. we are up next with our night owl wil. breakfast tomorrow morning opens at 7:45. we will hear from peter at 8:10
i have been talking to myself for the last couple of minutes. you are here at our night owl session. everyone has dinner or drinks and then we sit around and talk about what ever we wind up talking about. i will quickly introduce the women up here. i am kathryn lopez. editor at large of national review of mind. all i will be anywhere and say, and 10 minutes later, that person will come back to me and say, you are k-lo. kelly ann conway , i think of
you as a sound byte machine. substantive sound bites. when i need something quick and substantive, i go to kelly and. i was on tv for the very first time with you and we were talking about -- it was on msnbc. it would have then hell if you had not been there, too. we seem to be the only people who cared about abuse of power and silly things like that. syndicated columnist, author.
[applause] labor reminiscing about the old days -- we were reminiscing about the old days. i watched saturday and sunday. mona, i took an immediate light king to you. besides being right, ever since i've gotten to know her, she has a great family around her. you can see where that is all coming from. it is a reminder about what is really important. genevieve wood is vice president of marketing at the heritage foundation. >> nbc news, a long time ago.
>> we use to get confused. it tells you how many brunettes their word. -- there were. this is inaugural week. we are still not over the mitt romney loss. as i started to recover -- the barricades date put in front of the house office building. do you want to reminisce a little bit in a constructive way? what happened and what can we do better? what shall we be thinking about
right now? >> charles quoted churchill. i will quote another churchill story, not quite as salty. having won the second world war for great britain, carried this tiny island nation to victory over fascism and saved the country, and he was turned out by the voters. as he was contemplating his fate, his wife said, darling, this may very well be a blessing in disguise. and he said, in that case, it is very well disguised. i thought that way, too, about the loss. and the inaugural was an added kick. i have to say, was a well-kept
secret that nobody knew until this past monday that obama was a liberal? everybody is saying, he is liberal. some of us knew this since before he ran for president. he was the most left-wing member of the united states sent. and so forth. >> can i ask you about that? this is an endless curiosity for people. why does nobody listen when we say these things? >> people want to believe there is an optimism. you want to believe the candidate is not going to turn not to be as bad as a they seem. and that he will moderate and in the case of obama, that did not turn out to be true. here is the news that is optimistic.
that inaugural might very well be the fulfillment of that old irish prayer, oh, lord, let my enemies go too far. by sketching out a really ambitious left-wing agenda, in distinction to the way he campaigned in 2012, for example, in one of the debates, he was competing with the rodney to say he was very pro fossil fuel. he was mr. drilling on federal lands. ferry pro traditional energy sources. in this inaugural, he said it was all going to be about green energy. more attempts by the epa to
impose that agenda. when he attempts his next phase of liberal implementation, once people begin to feel the effects of obamacare, rising prices for health care, rising prices for insurance, people losing their insurance coverage, companies are people putting -- putting people on part-time work, all kinds of effects happening, as those realities began to accumulate, and as a bomb that really pushes the envelope beyond where the american -- obama pushes the envelope be on for the american people are comfortable, it could give us opportunities. >> these things the inaugural went too far? >> bill clinton saw that in 1994. the republicans all that in 2006
where the new governor of indiana, if republicans are going to act like democrats and do all of that spending, voters are going to hire the professional. in 2010, the extremism of the first two years. i would like to back to the original question. i stand in a small circle -- circle of conservatives who said obama had significant advantages. the reason i say that is because i'm a professional pollster. would like to learn from this past cycle. the fundamentals of the race never shifted. in the last 100 years, only one incumbent president standing for reelection was defeated when not challenged by his own party.
the only president in 100 years who lost his bid for reelection and had not been challenged was herbert hoover when he lost to fdr. people tend to be very pro- incumbent. they did not like to rock the boat politically unless given a reason. how many more reasons did they need? i get that. the most important thing that was said was bill clinton's speech. no president could have done and in four years. it is going to take more than four years. that gave people the excuse they were looking for a. i know votersnd, and i know poling. voters love to tell you all about this love affair they have with change and choice and revolution.
they never really join a revolution. they never exercised an option. they never make the changes they say they well. nobody ever gets out of that crop year relationship or find the job they like. this is the same -- in new york city, the largest apple be is in the world is in new york city. do you know why? people from all across this country say i am going to say if money to go to new york city. they go to times square and they go to the world's largest apple bees. that is not ridicule, that is a serious point about how stuck in our comfort zones we really are.
mitt romney 11 debate and he never won the argument. on one debate and he never won the argument. i have a whole list of reasons why we lost. i presented it to all of the house republicans last week that there retreat. i heard a couple of questions for charles previously that touched on this question. it is the wrong question to be asking. the three most poisonous words before this movement right now are he can win. it is sucking the lifeblood out of us.
it presupposes what voters will do two months, at two years, four years from now. who are we going to nominate in 2016? i do not want an name, i want the job description. we have been told three times in a row now. mitt romney, he can win. if he said it won enough, it must be true. george w. bush, who won two terms, as a republican president, i would ask people politely in 1997, who delights in 2000? george w. bush, that is terrific. why? he can win.
you are right. he raised all of that money. how did he raise all that money? it becomes circular. he can win, the democrats never asked that question. jimmy carter, bill clinton, barack obama. they were all told, you cannot win. how many told -- how many times was jimmy carter told, you cannot win? how many times was barack obama told you cannot win? they all won. two of them twice. the 01 with people you had never heard of before.
we do not have anything like that in the republican party. we throw good money after bad. dole and mccain and romney use the same people. staff infection. it will not matter to do you put in front of them if you have the same people pulling the same strengths. [applause] >> how do we make a compelling argument? from a conservative point of view, how can you even make the compelling argument to republicans? it is not some kind of illness
they do not want to be infected by. >> they always say, it is always darkest right before it is completely black. it's always darkest right before the lights come on. it is not the american public got into everything that is liberal. i hope the lights come on in the next couple of years. they did not buy into the change of another person. as much as that is frustrating, so many of us that come up with where the economy is right now, with what we are passing on to the next generation, you could not imagine that the public would send this guy back to office. for me, that was the hardest part of the election cycle. how do people do that if they were paying attention?
the more i talk to people stuck with the current died, it became -- with the current back, it became clear to me that they do not really know what is going on. they are not digging in a. they have not been personally affected yet. it is too bad that you have to get hit before you realize what is going on. 10 reasons we lost, it probably a lot more. we have to be very careful that we -- if we just had the computer system working, maybe that would make the difference in ohio. maybe it was the fact that mitt romney needed -- was too stiff. we have to have better messaging. have you remember is an
election cycle where we have not said that? our message ought to be battered, but we have to find better ways to help people -- better, but we have to find better ways to help people see how policy affects them. it is not enough to convince we areon the helill -- doing more and more, how do we convince people outside of d.c. -- here is how the health care law will impact you and your family. we have to do a better job. how we talk to women about that? find people already talking to those folks, trusted messengers. that is the hard job. it is easy to blame things on hard messaging. the challenge is getting better at it.
he did not just do that every four years. you did that starting today, thinking about four years from now. you do it because it is the right thing. we believe the policies we talk about are better for everybody. i think we have to talk about them like that. barack obama believes in what he saddest. -- believes in what he says. where was the passion on our side for standing up for what we believe in and being willing to take the case to the public and not playing it safe? i think we played it safe a lot of places. the folks that went they turned out to be the winners. >> i do think there is one big thing. i am sure you have a great list of 10 things and i am sure
they're all very true. i do think you can interpret this election as having been about one thing. it was about who was responsible for the financial crisis of 2008. the policies that led up to it. if you looked at polls, a majority of voters, even though they knew the economy was terrible, they still blended on george w. bush. the republicans -- he never really made the case that the financial crisis of 2008 was not caused by capitalism, was not agreed on wall street. it was a government that created that crisis. if we had made that case -- [applause] instead, what happened was
democrats for able to weave a story very similar to what they had done after the great depression. they said the solution was bigger government, the new deal, more regulation. that was good for the democrats for a decade and a half. they are using the financial crisis of 2008 successfully because it was not provided by us to say yes, the economy is terrible, but it was george bush's fault. it was his policies that created the financial crisis. if you vote for mitt romney, you will vote for the policies that got us into this mess. that was the crux of the election. it was our failure to tell a different story. [applause] >> to be watching so and so like
it is a general election already, that takes us back a few steps. how do we encourage good people to get to the politics and do what they need to did you have the experience you want in an executive position? >> everyone in this room and i am sure all the people watching know the fact that we now have 30 republican governors. about 24 -- we have 30 chief executives that control all lot of what goes on in your lives. your personal liberties, closer to home or you can watch them better and have more effect on what they're doing day-by-day. quite a number of republican state legislatures that also have republican governorships as well. he will see the state examples.
with some of the really great leaders in washington, it is that much more difficult for them to emerge when it comes to presidential time. what have you done for me lately? it you say i marked up this bill. they will repeat the question to you. what is your record? the governors will have something to say. day will be the bottom-up party again. we conceded the ground game to the original top-down party. if we can get back to that or we knock on the doors, we have volunteers standing outside of libraries and senior centers and coffee shops and all these places where people are, grocery store spread you have to go where the people are.
>> and then they robo-called. >> i believe we will be the bottom-up party again. those people will emerge, they will come to the top. the faster we look at them as presidential candidates, it is not fair to them and it is really not fair to last. we are the free market, pro competition movement. why do we not welcome free market and competition in our primary system? it makes no sense to me. let me add something that nobody talks about. there were many losses in the united states senate races this year. nobody pays attention to the fact that you had all of these
establishment candidates lost. in new mexico, montana, north dakota, ohio, florida, wisconsin. do not let the people who now say they need to get more involved in the primary system to make sure we never repaid losses -- repeat losses -- explained the other losses. no competition. clearing the field. when george w. bush was told, you can win, and the very first primary contest in new hampshire, john mccain be done by 18 points. he became a better candidate overnight. he had to perform as a candidate. he became a much better candidate overnight. we should want competition.
do not clear the field. that person is never ready for prime time. that person -- i think some of these governors are terrific. this movement should come up with a job description. if you are going to hire at national review, you post a job description. it is not a litmus test. we will have to nominate people who are relatable, who have an everyman story. we have that on our side much more than they do. what is so every man about john kerry? get these people. i am sure you are aware, if voters do not ask, do i like you? they ask, are you like me? do we have anything in common? what is our connective tissue? it does not matter if you are
wealthy. everyone has watched a loved one die. there is always a connective tissue. ross perot was worth four times the amount of money mitt romney was worth. he was for the middle class. we will have to have people who have an everyman or everywoman story. >> we cannot overemphasize the top-down mentality. the most successful part of the conservative movement has been what? did that start in washington? no. that came from the conservative grassroots, quite frankly. a lot of people talked about the
sophistication of the left. they touched people personally. they counted how many doors they knocked on. people they talk to and places where they lived. they mixed news style and old style. their campaign apparatus on the ground never went home. many of our state and local republican allies, they were not the powerhouses that they were. we have to revisit that. a lot of directives come from the national level and that has not been a good thing. >> my son is here with me tonight and he spent all of last summer in 99 degree heat knocking on doors in virginia. there were plenty of people to work out there. i would point out that i agree
the ground game on the part of the democrats was better. you notice these things and they go by in your peripheral vision and you see a flashing yellow lights and you think, i should be paying attention to that. that flashing yellow light was all at voter registration move meant that the democrats are always doing. another group is funded by george soros and they will go out and register new voters. you thought about it and you forgot about it. they were out there registering their single women and their minority voters and their immigrant and so on we were not. there were 93 million registered voters who did not go to this last election. that is not unusual. when you consider that half of them are probably married voters
and that romney one married voters by 54%, would it be advisable for us in addition to fine-tuning our message and in addition to focusing on having a better competition for candidates, wouldn't be better for us to focus on bring out our voters, married women, married men tend to vote republican. >> in addition to registering people to vote, i walked away too,msnbc, but sometimes i get the impression that people are not looking at what the other side is doing. it was not just voter registration, it was also convincing people that republicans were suppressing the black and other minority vote. there was a total lack of realization on the right.
the last truly believes or condensed or reduces the strategy the republicans are trying to suppress the vote. will we do not even pay attention to what the other side is doing -- >> i did not see people fighting back. when the right was challenged on those things, where did you see us really fighting back on that issue? when things happened with murdoch and others, people scattered like crazy. there was nobody standing up and sank, take the sign. >> there was no way to defend it. >> it was a little bit different. we are not out front proactively talking about the issue. we let them talk about the war on women. when these things happen, the ground was more fertile for
people to buy into it because they had not heard anybody making the pro life case in a good way. we were not talking about that issue this time. where were the social issues? train theirist candidates. they have murder boards, -- >> i think they put a microchip in each of them. >> they want more pro-choice women candidates. we need to do that. just to train our candidates. the press is very liberal. when they present a question on
abortion, they always go to the vulnerability. where do you stand on a rape? that is a tough question. she did say to them, when you did that question, you say, that is a hard question. i have struggled with that personally. but i would like to ask my opponents how he feels about partial birth abortion. those are the hard questions for their side. because the press will not do it, our candidate have to be ready to do that and to turn the tables. [applause] >> this is one of my 10 reasons we lost. conservatives could = self- inflicted media bias. i think people believed obama
or romney was going to win based on where they get their news and information. we do not pay attention to what the other side is doing. i do not want your blood pressure to go up when you read some of the nonsense, but it is important to see what is going on. just to understand. i do a lot of cnn, the democratic strategist the i am on with, they barely broke a sweat. they felt that romney did very well in that one debate. they were not arrogant, they were confident. they had a plan of action. every day, they showed up to work. they put 1 foot in front of the other. day-by-day, 14 months, 20 months, they implemented the plan of action.
the work was tedious. the work is drudgery. it is boring, it is cold outside, the work is not glamorous, but the goal was glamorous. the goal was to reelect barack obama. we need to be willing to do the work. we have always been the worker bees. we raced all of this money. the fastest way to make a small fortune is to have a very large one and a waste most of it. that is what happens in politics. you have too much money and not enough appreciation for utilization of grass-roots techniques. pay attention to what the other side is doing. this looks really smart.
if nobody has seen its, you learn very quickly, what this plan was from the obama people from the left. the next time the mainstream media tells you which republicans can win, run the other way. day and know exactly who can be beaten. they start putting just one or two names in their polling. they start talking about water to republicans on their talk shows. -- one or two republicans on their talk shows. do you really think they want a republican to win? we're taking our cues from people who do not want us to win. >> on a point to listening to the other side, i think it is about engagement, too. one of my biggest pet peeves are
people complaining about washington. it is not just a matter of not being on the defensive. it is also about making long- term arguments about what government has done. all too often, not of us are candidates -- people are content with the talking points. the current problem is not just a political problem. how do we engage more? the people in this room make an impact in influencing this argument. creating a space or politicians are more comfortable doing it. >> one challenge that we have with appealing to women voters,
and i think it is true of men who have only a high-school diploma up or are having trouble finding a good job, women think that when they are voting for democrats, they're voting for security. single women, who feel quite vulnerable to job losses or any change in the economy or anything that might go wrong, they want that safety nets and wanted to be a comfortable, er.ter -- comfort he it is not an easy sell, but we have to make the case that what you think is security is not. as will be soon obvious in
states that have followed this model, states like california, illinois, new york, they will go bankrupt. they will come to the federal government for a bailout and we have to be ready to hammer home the point that what good is it that you voted for security when now your benefits will not be able to be paid for because there is no longer a public fisc that can afford it? >> this seems to me like a deeper cultural problem. how do convince women that the government is not there has been -- their husband? we have this culture where -- we have this pop culture that suggests that dads are losers.
how do we fix that environment? this is for anybody. >> it is a huge cultural problems that we have. it is frustrating because you do not want to seem preachy to people about how they should best live their lives. and yet, we know for a fact that people who get married -- the liberal foundation about 20 years ago did a study and what they found was if you just did three things, you would not be poor. refrain from having children until you got married, get married and stay married, did a job, it in the job. if you did those three things, you would not be poor.
unfortunately, when you tell people that, it seems as if you are being judgmental and you are preaching. there is a certain amount of preaching that will be necessary. charles murray said in his fantastic but that what we have is a very bifurcated society where the upper class this, -- upper classes are still getting married and staying married the rates they did in the 1950's. they are fine. their kids are doing well. a professor at cornell said he realized that every single kid in his class came from an intact family. that is the case at all the best colleges. we have this bifurcated world where the middle and upper
classes are marion and raising their kids in a wholesome environment and doing well. the rest of society is fleeing marriage and is suffering as a consequence much higher levels of poverty, this function. -- this function. -- dysfunction. if the upper classes would preach what they practice, you would at least begin to get somewhere. >> we have an entire population of women who choose not to marry and choose not to be mothers. it is a lifestyle choice. consumer america has to sell cat food and cars every day.
we looked at people as voters and we put them in these neat boxes. the other side looks at them as consumers. does not just say, jobs and the economy have been the number one issue for five years. worried doing about the other 58%? -- what are you doing about the other 58%? number 7 on my list may pop up to number 2 by the time the election comes around. on page 25 of the book, we predicted that the next big political demographic group would be on married women. why? because the look that census data. we let that cultural indicators.
we look at numbers. in this election comment in 2008, and married women voted 2- 14 obama. john mccain, george w. bush, bob dole carried married women. the problem is the trend lines are going in the opposite direction. the challenge for republicans is that unmarried women are all over the age of 18. most of them are eligible to vote. they do look at government as security, but they also -- the obama people were worried about women becoming economic romney voters.
they waged this phony war on women and it started a year ago. the first time i heard it was super bowl weekend. they took a 45-year-old never married childless woman who makes a six-figure in,, owns a home, she is responsible to pay her monthly bills, tax liabilities. she is scary because she is economically savvy. she is part of this upside-down approval ratings on the economy. they scared her into believing that the republicans what are denied contraception, abortion. they talk to women from the waist down for an entire year.
they brought her back to how she felt 25 years earlier when she was 20. i do have binders on when men. -- women. go back to 2010. the majority of women voted republicans. two short years after obama carried women by 13 points, and more women voted republican. it was spending and the debt and the deficit. i am a social conservative. i take a backseat to nobody on that. it was government spending too much.
i did not hear much of that this time. stop allowing the left to talk about women's health. if they want to talk about abortion, talk about abortion. if they want to talk about contraception talk about contraception. how dare you talk about women's health? you wanna talk about women's health, what is the number-one killer? cardiovascular disease. where is obesity and nutrition? diabetes? where is long-term care for the widows in this country? i will not allow planned parenthood and the rest of the crew to get away with talking women's health because dain -- women's health. have you ever -- i have been a politics for 25 years. i have never in my life hurt anybody talk about men's issues. have you? i've never heard the phrase in my life. what exactly is a woman's issue?
stop talking about women's issues. we believe women can talk about all issues. including economic issues. i think we cede that crummy allow the debate to be waged on the floor -- that ground where we allow the debate to be waged on the floor. >> why do we cede that around? why are we so defensive? women candidates are so defensive when they could be the best at turning the tables. >> i do not know what it was
specifically this election cycle. we do train our candidate to from time to time. this was not do with that said, i think that's so many people on the conservative side of the aisle or so sure this was going to be about nothing but the economy. even though everybody did say coming out of the exit polls economy, economy -- they were clearly thinking about other things, too. i do not know if they were prepared to take on some of these battles. when the women came out -- i remember sitting different women come out and push back against it. not enough. not with the force on their side. i do know if people were not prepared this time around.
>> there are a few myths though. one method that should not get established after 2012 is that what men trip to the polls to vote on the issue of contraception and abortion. -- one minute trip to the polls to vote on contraception and abortion. it barely registered on issues women cared about. another thing to bear in mind is that all of the polling -- this has been true for decades. when you look at people who say abortion is important for them, they split about evenly for pro- life and pro-choice. the notion that this is an issue particularly harmful to republican candidates is not true. >> you looked at words and the
messages and how they resonate with people. it strikes me that beyond the women's health like, we talk in terms that people do not understand at all. hobby lobby, they are in this lawsuit against the obamacare. they believe the religious does not mean you believe -- e.b. religious on sunday are private. we have privatized religion to such a great extent. in some of us may be obsessed about this issue, but we talked about freedom and religious freedom and a conscience. my sense is most of america has no idea what we are talking about. we have different senses of what
he freedom is. maybe it means increased access to contraception. how do we get a common vocabulary again? >> on the freedom of conscience and religious freedom -- religious liberty peas, i think the left feared that percolating which is what they turned it into an argument. i have to make it more here in now, one that affects more of my base voters. i think if we learn to start each sentence with a question which is, is it fair that the government -- fill in the blank with almost anything you want. take your money and taxes, tell you cannot worship your god. you cannot send your kids to a better school. is it fear the government tells you that you cannot run that business?
is it fair that the government -- what they do without saying it -- i really think that should be a common language. the other thing is, start with a solution. we have this terrible habit of starting with a problem. it is like, everybody knows what the problems already began with a solution. start with a solution and say i have a great 3 part plan to do x. if he said, oh, my god, johnnie cannot read and joey is a thug. i am going to turn the channel. i will go back to reality tv because it is less incendiary. i also just happen to be somebody who believes that we cannot dial test and alexa, our way into prosperity -- lexicon
our way into prosperity to all americans. i do not like to group them. the way i say that is, it is hard to be honest. you cannot say in seven seconds what free markets and limited government really means. it takes a little bit of explanation. at the same time, i think you have to be willing to also say when somebody is not telling the truth -- nobody on tv as ever under oath. remember that the next time you hear a bunch of nonsense. even the speech the president made the other day that may do so crazy, he had already taken the oath. that was done. then he gave a speech. the hand was off the bible by that. the engage people in the conversation. stop talking to voters like you are a financial planner.
talk to them like you are their neighbor. we talk like we are there dentists. the people you do not like to deal with. >> we are in a really tough position. at this point in american history, we are at a tipping point. the democratic party -- it did not begin with obama, he accelerated the trend that was established -- has been the party of creating a larger and larger state, more benefits sucking more out of the private sector to create a larger private sector -- larger public sector and more goodies for people to become recipients. the really undesirable job of republicans is to say, i am here to take away your goodies because it is not good for you and it will bankrupt everybody. it is awfully hard to deliver that message and a positive way. the only positive way is to talk
about growth. we have seen the effects of growth under ronald reagan and what that does. you can -- under clinton to to be fair. mostly having to do with the republican house. with growth you can make your deficits a little bit more manageable. it is not easy to be the messenger who says, we have promised to much, we cannot afford it, we are going to go bankrupt. somebody has to deliver the message or we are going over the real cliff, not the fiscal cliff. >> it is definitely harder. i would always say to people up front, just accept that it will be harder for you. not just because most of the media is biased and liberals will ask the wrong questions, but because your message is harder to sell. the reality is, you are the parent. you have the bills.
the other guy comes out and he is the best friend. most people are like, who would rather hang out with? i think some of it is how do you lecture people rather than fighting who they are and listening to their needs and approaching it in a different manner. we cannot change what their policies are. we have to think about, how do we get people to understand them better without just talking to them and say here is the first principle and here is what the policy will do. it takes more time, but it probably cannot wait as there is an election cycle. you have to invest in this. there may be a silver lining. i do think it helps us see where we are. what if mitt romney had one? it would have been far better. one of the things we have to see right now, where the public is. i do not think they are big government people. we are at that tipping point.
there is a study every year called the index of dependency. that number is going up every single year. it is not just people you think of on welfare. it is what many call middle- class america who is dependent in some way or form on government programs. i think that is why you see when you ask, should government cut spending? everybody says yes. you look at what you want to cut. it is not usually what i am getting or what somebody i know is getting. as much as they think spending is a problem, they do not truly believe the biggest drivers of it are the biggest drivers of it which are things like social security, medicare, and medicaid. that is the big elephant in the room. >> they often say foreign aid, nasa, the department of education.
i think that is a great idea for a number of reasons. people on the left say let's get out of these wars. that is a great idea for some people. you can do a lot of what people on the right and left want to do in terms of their pet cuts and it would do absolutely nothing to the long-term trajectory that we are on. we did a bus tour this year with family research council. we've teamed up on the money and valleys toward. what was interesting was respect to a lot of conservatives, and people were -- we spoke to a lot of conservatives, and people were willing to listen to us. i think it is an uphill battle, but one we will be forced into by the very nature of where we are. >> there is a passage in one of his great books where he says, the democrats are the party of
santa claus. santa claus is a wonderful job a guy in a red suit who loves everyone and gives everybody presence. he gives you exactly what you want, all you have to do is ask. the republicans are the party of god. god is a stern fellow. he has been known to punish people for not doing what they are supposed to do. it is hard to get into his country club. in every way, santa claus is superior to god -- except there is no such thing as santa claus. >> if my small children are watching, she is kidding. >> if your kids are watching c- span at 10:15 at night, you are doing something right. >> i have four of them, a tiny. let me say something about the
economy for a moment. it was, exhibit a -- obama is upside down in his approval ratings on every economic ratings measure. is accepted that he had a negative approval on taxes, spending, gas prices, he was upside down. we were not the only people who knew that. they were going to do something about that. then it was, the economy is number one to 42%. romney has been a job creator. he has made things. he has hired and fired people. he knows how things around. he will put that experience to washington. there are a couple of things wrong with that. one is, the economy by itself got romney and obama 43% and 42%
each. you need over 50% to win. and i think we stopped right there. the obama keep -- the obama people kept adding more with abortion, hurricane sandy. they were able to get and realize that although the economy is the most important, that is not all. voters do not go into the ballot box and only choose one issue as to why -- where do people who believe in free well, human reason, and intelligence and your ability to walk, to gum, and a shovel and have issues that are important to you. here is some -- chew gum and juggle and have issues importan tto you. the average family lives with the debt. they do not look that as a bad
thing. they look at that as what enables them to own a home, send a kid to college, buy a car, start a business, to have a credit card that lets them go to dinner once or twice a month. i do not think that makes them live their lives responsibly -- i think that makes them live their lives irresponsibly. to say that is a four-letter word and bad. we are missing a lot of people that say, people do not deal with trillions. this whole thing about job creators in the bill this and did not build that, i think that is fine. i think republicans on that space now. most americans are neither job creators or job seekers. 8% is not 80%. the vast majority of households in this country are jobholders. what was the message exactly?
the message should be to them -- financial security and every day affordability. people said, i like your message on jobs, but i actually have a job. my household has two or three jobs. we are not worried about losing our jobs are replacing a lost job. the job is no longer enough. when you were a kid in your father had a job and your grandfather had a job, it was enough. then monday it was not enough so your mother had to get one, too. -- then one day it was not enough so your mother had to get one, too. we need to tell people why the job is not enough. where is all of your money going? why are you always behind in the bills? why can you not afford things that people who do not work for?
we have to have a populist, affordability, and social security -- not just i am going to create jobs. >> i want to go one step further with the concept of free will and god and parents. god gives us rules and is loving and merciful. with the growth of government and dependency, how do we build people up? people want responsibility? have we so fundamentally change that we cannot build up civil society again? our message is not all negative. yes, we have to step back and make sacrifices. there is also a level of, this really fills people up and be an
exceptional again. how do we get there? >> people need certain basic things to be happy. if you start of the granular level, they need security, love, to feel respected. they need the community. when i think of single women turning to government as obama would prefer -- he always says this is what unites us. it is government. that is what we all have in common. i look at this as looking for love in all the wrong places. the government is just too big and too impersonal and to dysfunctional to provide what human beings -- it has to provide certain basic things of course. when it comes to community
building, when it comes to making people feel they are necessary and knitted into a community, churches, community groups, schools, those are the places people get their real sense of identity and fulfillment and through their families. i think we have to not give up that message about wanting to be long, because people are always going to want to belong. to redirect it and say, you can have so much more of a meaningful relationship and community spirit at the smaller level than you can add the community and towns and churches and so on than you can to the abstract federal government in washington, d.c. >> have we fundamentally changed as a nation? how do we get that message to people? well it resonate as a national political context? is it something that has to be done on a state level? is it all the cultural issue
that we have to start with? >> it is predominantly cultural. that is bottom up, not top down. if we can understand and rich people culturally, we can reach them politically. -- reach people culturally, which can reach them politically. there is so much hand wringing about at -- region hispanics, and i would add agents. -- reaching hispanics, and i would add asians. this idea that they would not respond to a conservative religious message is belied by the fact that they are very religious people still part of active family formation were those numbers are way down among our overall population. if you look at some of the suburbs to run our cities in this country, you look at the
catholic churches, asians and hispanics are filling the pews. the whites are out jogging and having brunch. they are very religious people with large families. we have absolutely seated them. we have to come up with a new strategy on how to talk to minorities. that is so ridiculous. we have to go where they are and figure out who they are. the economy, great. what does that mean? what if issue is not a religious -- what if religion is not an issue to that because it is part of their culture. it is part of their very being. we need to take the time culturally to understand people. also, to recognize, it seems americans have this 0 some idea.
here is the pipe. if you say i am religious. -- zero sum game. if you say, here is the pie. if you say one thing you must be expecting the opposite. sometimes it does not even apply to the individual. i will submit to you that we need to appreciate not just the changing demography and tinging ideology but to recognize we are not that important. politics is not that important in every day people's lives. look at people as consumers. look at them as members of a culture first. if you understand them that way, that you can approach them with politics. i think what has been happening for a couple of years is trying to get them politically. i think we have been playing
short trip with them. >> if you look at things like the life issue. that was huge. there was a much for life today. -- pay march for life today. >> i do not think i saw that. >> so much in terms of what has been positive. the strides we have made in turning people on that has been what is passing culturally in terms of the resource center at helping people who need help. there are other things we can do while we work for the loss to happen. when we see them coming alongside people, that makes a difference. i think the school choice battles that come a long. there is no better way for conservatives to line up with people who oftentimes are in the voting lines with us. we are here for you. when you see what happened to
the d.c. public school system. the people fighting the battle for the moms who cared so much about their children and where they were and frankly a lot of conservative standing alongside them. not people on the left, there were not there. not the unions, they were not there. we have to look for more of those opportunities. we have to realize it is not all just about politics. family formation and keeping families together and helping people make the right choices early on will go a long way toward how they vote and other things. we cannot force it through the ballot box to fix all the problems. it is easier to cut and harder to do a lot of the other things. >> they made a point about the
lazy slander against pro lifers. there is lee's letter against a lot of conservatives. it is easy to believe. people believe it because they do not see the examples of what is actually happening on the ground whether it be churches or community groups. it is strikes me. there was a "new york times"he's a couple of weeks ago. they do happen sometimes. it strikes me that they are talking about a cultural point. is it not may be the most important thing that conservatives can do, raising children to encourage them to go into hollywood, the arts? clucks the universities. >> mainstream media. -- >> universities.
>> at the end of the day we are talking to a limited audience. is that not the most important. we can pick from the selection in some ways? >> so we are going to see the nbc, cbs, "the nwe york times" with little moles we raised outselves. i do think we have to try to infiltrate to the degree we can actually that i disagree with charles. i no longer think we are a center-right country. i think the first time we elected barack obama, you could have made that case. of the second time. this does represent a shift. we now have to go back to first principles and starry are doing things that we did not think or even up for grabs.
-- start read arguing things that we did not even think were up for grabs. we saw eastern europe rise up and we thought we did not have to argue that any more. it looks like we do. >> i completely agree. there are a lot of people over the years who call themselves conservatives. your people call themselves liberals -- liberals. how do you call yourself conservative? we may have thought there were more people who got it the way that we get it then there are. it does not mean that they do not have the fundamental principles and values in many cases that we share? but in how that translates into policy, i think there is a bigger disconnect that we give credit to. >> we are going to wrap up in a few minutes. when we are talking about this cultural issue, of my dear late
friend andrew bride art, one of the great gifts he ever gave me was showing me that there are conservatives in hollywood. andrew was not heritage foundation, studies first principles kind of guy, but he had some in his gut. that is what i think you are talking about. too many people in hollywood are good people who were raised by good families, but for whatever reason they encountered something good whether it was religion or the constitution. they write scripts. they may be directors. they are a guy at the table when a comedy series is being written. that strikes me. if we can teach people first principles. if we can teach them what is good and they can have it, they can create beautiful things. it is actually possible. we are not victims of these
institutions, which obviously have been poisoned. >> i also think that young people are being very idealistic. perhaps uniquely open to arguments about compassion. if we present the pro-life issue, for example, in terms of compassion, we might get more of a hearing that we would expect. >> it strikes me and some others to speak on college campuses will probably agree, kids are desperate for something different. they see what has been happening demographically. they see their own families and in many cases what has happened. they do not want that for themselves. if they are presented an alternative, they will grasp onto a quicker than they realize. they do want something new. something grounded. something old. >> i think as conservatives, we
did something called seek social justice. to take the turn back. it was all about targeting a younger audience who are concerned and want to do something. what is the role of society? what is the role of the government? the role of the church is to help people who are in a hard way. it is not that there is no role for government, but it is a much more limited role that we are experiencing as a country. if you really want to help people, we told a three story. a show people who had been in one place. how did they get there? was it just being on a welfare check? was it somebody handing out free needles because they were a drug addict? how did they get to where they are today? sometimes it was a religious experience. sometimes it was a civic group that came along beside them. i think as the students went through that, it gave them the opportunity to or